Last updated

Kohima at the Golden Hour.jpg
PR Hill Junction, Kohima.jpg
Nightscape of Kohima(Top), P.R. Hill Junction (Bottom)
India Nagaland location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Kohima in Nagaland
India location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Kohima (India)
Coordinates: 25°40′12″N94°06′28″E / 25.6701°N 94.1077°E / 25.6701; 94.1077 Coordinates: 25°40′12″N94°06′28″E / 25.6701°N 94.1077°E / 25.6701; 94.1077
CountryFlag of India.svg  India
State ..Nagaland Flag(INDIA).png Nagaland
District Kohima
  Type Municipality
  Body Kohima Municipal Council
  ChairmanKovi Meyase
  Total20 km2 (8 sq mi)
1,444 m (4,738 ft)
  Total115,283 [1]
Demonym(s) Kohimian
  Official English
  Major dialects AngamiAoChakhesangLothaSümi
Time zone UTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code91 (0)370
Vehicle registration NL-01
Sex ratio 927 /
Climate Temperate (Köppen)
Website kohima.nic.in

Kohima ( /kˈhmə/ Loudspeaker.svg pronunciation  ) is the capital city of India's north eastern state of Nagaland. With a resident population of almost 100,000, it is the second largest city in the state. [1] Originally known as Kewhira, Kohima was founded in 1878 when the British Empire established its headquarters of the then Naga Hills. It officially became the capital after the state of Nagaland was inaugurated in 1963. Kohima was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. The battle is often referred to as the Stalingrad of the East’. [2] [3] In 2013, the British National Army Museum voted the Battle of Kohima to be ‘Britain's Greatest Battle’. [4]


Kohima constitutes both a district and a municipality. The municipality covers 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi). Kohima lies on the foothills of Japfü range located south of the District ( 25°40′N94°07′E / 25.67°N 94.12°E / 25.67; 94.12 ) [5] and has an average elevation of 1,261 metres (4137 feet). [6]


Kohima was originally known as Kewhi–ra. [7] The name, Kohima, was officially given by the British as they could not pronounce the Angami name of Kewhi–ra (Tenyidie for "the land where the flower ‘Kewhi’ grows"). It is called after the wild flowering plant ‘Kewhi’, found in the mountains. Most local people prefer to use ‘Kewhi–ra’.


Kohima was originally a large village named Kewhira, which is located in the northeastern part of the present day Kohima urban area. The village is divided into four Thinuos: Tsütuonuomia, Lhisemia, Dapfütsumia and Pfuchatsumia (T, L, D, and P Khel respectively).

Colonial era

The British incursions into the Naga territory, beginning in the 1840s, met with stiff resistance from the independence-loving Nagas, who had never been conquered by any empire before. The stiffness of the resistance can be gauged by the fact that it took nearly four decades for the British to conquer a territory that is less than 10,000 square kilometres (the eastern region was left free). Kohima was the first seat of modern administration as the Headquarters of Naga Hills District (then under Assam) with the appointment of Guybon Henry Damant as Political Officer in 1879.

Battle of Kohima

The mined tennis court and terraces of the District Commissioner's bungalow in Kohima. IND 003483 tennis court at Kohima.jpg
The mined tennis court and terraces of the District Commissioner's bungalow in Kohima.

In 1944 during World War II the Battle of Kohima along with the simultaneous Battle of Imphal was the turning point in the Burma Campaign. For the first time in South-East Asia, the Japanese lost the initiative to the Allies, which the Allies then retained, until the end of the war. This hand-to-hand battle and slaughter, prevented the Japanese from gaining a base from which they might have easily gone into the plains of India. [8]

Kohima War Cemetery, Kohima, Nagaland Kohima War Cemetery, Kohima, Nagaland (89).jpeg
Kohima War Cemetery, Kohima, Nagaland

Kohima has a large cemetery known as the War Cemetery in Kohima for the Allied war dead maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The cemetery lies on the slopes of Garrison Hill, in what was once the Deputy Commissioner's tennis court which was the scene of intense fighting, the Battle of the Tennis Court. The epitaph carved on the memorial of the 2nd British Division in the cemetery has become world-famous as the Kohima poem.

When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,

For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.

The verse is attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875–1958), and is thought to have been inspired by the epitaph written by Simonides to honour the Greek who fell at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. [9]


When Nagaland became a full-fledged state on 1 December 1963, Kohima was christened as the state capital.

On 20 March 1986, two students Kekuojalie Sachü and Vikhozo Yhoshü were killed in indiscriminate firing by Nagaland Police when they participated in a peaceful protest called by the Naga Students' Federation (NSF) to rally against the state government's decision on the introduction of Indian Police Service (IPS) cadres and the extension of the Disturbed Area Belt from 5 to 20 km along the Indo-Myanmar (Indo-Burma) border. The event was so tumultuous that it led three Cabinet ministers and five state ministers of Nagaland to resign. [10]


Kohima lies north of the Japfü Barail intersection. [ citation needed ]


The city experiences the subtropical highland climate (Köppen: Cwb), with greater contrast between summer and winter than in other continents due to the monsoons and mild temperatures even for latitude and altitude. The months of June to September concentrate much of the precipitation. [11]

Kohima has cool winters with rarefied rain sometimes warm (but not hot) and very rainy summers. The coldest months are from December to February, when frost occurs and in the higher altitudes snowfall occurs occasionally. During the height of summers, from June–August, temperature ranges an average of 27–32 °C (80–90 °F). Heavy rainfall occurs during summer.[ citation needed ]

Record high °C (°F)24.5
Average high °C (°F)15.5
Daily mean °C (°F)11.6
Average low °C (°F)8.0
Record low °C (°F)0.6
Average rainfall mm (inches)9.6
Average rainy days1.
Average relative humidity (%)74676570778588888683767178
Source: India Meteorological Department [12] [13]


The Kohima Municipal Council (KMC) was established in 2005 under India's Constitution (Seventy-Fourth Amendment) Act, 1992. It has waste management, drainage and trade licensing and other responsibilities. [14] [15]

Other departments of the state government, which sit in Kohima, also have a role in the administration of Kohima. [15] The "City Development Plan" for the town, for example, was written by state Urban Development Department. [16]

Greater Kohima planning area

The Greater Kohima Planning Area (GKPA) comprises the KMC plus Kohima, Meriema, Tsiesema and Thizama villages and their peripheral, cultivable and conservation areas, and the "Capital Complex Area". The total area of the GKPA is 63.36 sq km, of which municipal council's 11 sq km accounts for just over 17%. [16] [17] [15]

Culture and attraction

Religious sites

Kohima Ao Baptist Church KABA 1.jpg
Kohima Ao Baptist Church

The Mary Help of Christians Cathedral or commonly known as the Kohima Cathedral is a prominent landmark in Kohima. The 16 feet high carved wood crucifix is one of Asia's largest crosses. It is the biggest Catholic church in Nagaland and was constructed in 1998.

There are numerous Protestant churches in Kohima. Kohima Ao Baptist Church and Kohima Lotha Baptist Church are some of the biggest churches in Kohima.

The Kohima Jain Temple, the oldest Jain temple in North East India was established in 1920.

Historical sites

Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial dedicated to soldiers of the 2nd British Division of the Allied Forces who died in the Second World War at Kohima in April 1944. There are 1,420 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War at this cemetery.


Sakhrie Park is a recreational park located at Middle A.G Ward located between the Asian Highway 1 and the A.G Road.

Events and Festivals

The NAJ Cosfest is an Otaku -based cosplay festival held every year in month of July. The annual event was started in 2013 and is organized by the Nagaland Anime Junkies.

The Spring Fest of St. Joseph's College, Jakhama is the biggest college fest in Nagaland. The two-day festival attracts around 4000 students each year.

Miss Kohima is a beauty pageant organized by Agathos Society. The pageant is held every year since 2017.

The Hornbill Festival is the biggest annual festival in North East India. The festival is held every year from 1 to 10 December with a purpose to promote the richness of the Naga heritage and traditions.


Kohima is home to several television networks— Nagaland Cornerstone TV, etc. The city is also home to the local newspapers such as Capi, Ralha, etc. State-owned All India Radio has a local station in Kohima, which transmits various programs of mass interest.


Top view of Kohima city Top view of Kohima.jpg
Top view of Kohima city

As of 2011, Kohima had a population of 99,039 of which males and females were 51,626 and 47,413 respectively. Kohima has an average literacy rate of 90.76%, higher than the national average of 79.55%. [1]

The city's population is composed of the 16 tribes of Nagaland. The population of the Angamis, Aos and Lothas are the largest in present-day Kohima urban area.

The major religion in Kohima is Christianity which is practised by 80.22% of the population. Other religions includes Hindu  (16.09%), Muslim  (3.06%) and Buddhist  (0.45%). [1]

As of 2011 six of Kohima's nineteen wards, covering 26% of the town, have been designated as slums, within which about a third of the population was Below Poverty Line. [16]

The Greater Kohima planning area had a population of 115,283 at the 2001 census, of which the KMC area accounted for 67% and Kohima Village 16%. [16]



The nearest airport is Dimapur Airport located in Dimapur, 74 kilometres (46 miles) from the city centre of Kohima. Another airport is planned which will serve both Kohima and Dimapur.


Kohima is connected by road with National Highways 2 and 29 passing through the city.

Highways passing through Kohima


Kohima is not connected with the rail network. The nearest railway station is at Dimapur. An extension of the railway line from Dimapur to Kohima was proposed and surveyed in 2009. [18] Due to a dispute over land acquisition the track was resurveyed and an alternative alignment was proposed in 2013 and is expected to be completed by 2020. [19] Once completed the Zubza Railway Station will serve as the main railway station of Kohima.


Kohima is home to some of the most prestigious educational institutions in Nagaland.


Universities and Colleges



Kohima is home to Kohima Komets a football club which plays in the top division Nagaland Premier League.

See also

Related Research Articles

Nagaland State in North East India

Nagaland is a state in north-eastern India. It is bordered by the state of Arunachal Pradesh to the north, Assam to the west, Manipur to the south and the Sagaing Region of Myanmar to the east. Nagaland's capital city is Kohima and its largest city is Dimapur. It has an area of 16,579 square kilometres (6,401 sq mi) with a population of 1,980,602 per the 2011 Census of India, making it one of the smallest states of India.

Angami is an Naga language spoken in the Naga Hills in the northeastern part of India, in Kohima district, Nagaland. In 2001, there is an estimate of 125,000 first language (L1) Angami speakers. Under the UNESCO's Language Vitality and Endangerment framework, Angami is at the level of "vulnerable", meaning that it is still spoken by most children, but "may be restricted to certain domains".

Music of Nagaland

Nagaland is a vibrant hill state located in the extreme North Eastern End of India, bound by Myanmar in the East; Assam in the West; Arunachal Pradesh and a part of Assam in the North with Manipur in the south. It is renowned for its rich cultural heritage. The State is inhabited by 16 major tribes along with other sub-tribes. Each tribe is distinct in character in terms of customs, language and dress. It is a land of folklore passed down the generations through word of mouth. Here, music is an integral part of life. One can listen to most of fine tuned songs and music organically produced in Nagaland on indihut, and HIYOMUSIC Mobile App; the only music streaming app found in the state.

The Angamis are a major Naga ethnic group native to the state of Nagaland in North-East India. The Angami Nagas are predominantly settled in Kohima District and Dimapur District of Nagaland and are also recognized as one of the ethnic groups in the state of Manipur. The Angamis are divided into four regions namely Chakhro Angami, Northern Angami, Southern Angami and Western Angami. The now separated Chakhesangs were previously known as the Eastern Angamis.

Dimapur City and Municipality in Nagaland, India

Dimapur is a city in Nagaland, India. It is the most populous city of Nagaland and also the most densely populated city in the state with an estimated population of about 250,000. The city is the main gateway and commercial centre of Nagaland.

Dimapur district District of Nagaland in India

Dimapur (Pron:/ˌdɪməˈpʊə/) is a district of Nagaland state in India. Its headquarters is the city of Dimapur. As of 2011 it is the most populous district of Nagaland.

Kohima district District in India, Nagaland

Kohima district is a district of Nagaland state in India. It is the home of the Angami Naga tribe. As of 2011, it is the second most populous district of Nagaland, after Dimapur with a population of 267,988, 45% of which is urban.

Wokha Town in Nagaland, India

Wokha is a town and a municipality in the state of Nagaland, India. It is the headquarters of Wokha district and is located about 75 km north of the state capital Kohima.

The Angami Baptist Church Council (ABCC) is one of the 20 Associations in the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC). Through the NBCC, the ABCC is part of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). Its headquarters, Kohima, is the second station of the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society in Nagaland.

Neiliezhü Üsou

Neiliezhü Üsou was an influential Baptist minister and public leader from the North-Eastern state of India, Nagaland. He belonged to the Angami Naga tribe and hailed from Nerhema Village in Kohima district, Nagaland, India. He was well known for his interpretive skills, powerful sermons and involvement with the State Government.

Hornbill Festival

The Hornbill Festival is a celebration held every year from 1 to 10 December, in Nagaland, Northeast India. It is also called the 'Festival of Festivals'.

The predominant religion of Nagaland is Christianity. The state's population is 1.988 million, out of which 90.02% are Christians. More than 98% of the Naga people identify themselves as Christian. The 2001 census recorded the state's Christian population at 1,790,350, making it, with Meghalaya and Mizoram, one of the three Christian-majority states in India and the only state where Christians form 90% of the population. The state has a very high church attendance rate in both urban and rural areas. Huge churches dominate the skylines of Kohima, Dimapur, and Mokokchung.

Kohima War Cemetery

Kohima War Cemetery is a memorial dedicated to soldiers of the 2nd British Division of the Allied Forces who died in the Second World War at Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, India, in April 1944. The soldiers died on the battleground of Garrison Hill in the tennis court area of the Deputy Commissioner's residence. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), which maintains this cemetery among many others in the world, there are 1,420 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War at this cemetery, and a memorial to an additional 917 Hindu and Sikh soldiers who were cremated in accordance with their faith. The memorial was inaugurated by Field Marshal Sir William Slim, then Commander of the 14th Army in Burma.

Phulchand Sethi

Phulchand Sethi was a social worker, philanthropist, and businessman of Dimapur, Nagaland in Northeast India. He was amongst the first proponents of Jainism in Nagaland. He was awarded the Commendation Certificate by the Governor of Nagaland, Lallan Prasad Singh, on 15 August 1975 for Social and Humanitarian activities. He established the Dimapur Chamber of Commerce in 1959. He could speak many local dialects such as Angami, Sema, Lotha, Kuki, Manipuri, Assamese. He died on 2 October 1976 in Dimapur.

Khezhakeno Village in Nagaland, India

Khezhakeno is a village in the Phek District of Nagaland, India. It is a historical village of the Nagas. It is located in the region 25.30°N 94.12°E at an elevation of 1660 meters above sea level and shares its border with the Manipur state in the south. The village is 48 km from the state capital Kohima via NEC Viswema-Kidima-Zuketsa road and is 23 km away from its Sub-divisional headquarter Pfutsero. It falls under the Administrative Circle of Khezhakeno HQ headed by an Extra Assistant Commissioner.

Viswema Village and Metropolitan area in Northeast India, India

Viswema is a Southern Angami Naga village located 22 km south of Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, India. With a resident population of 7417, it is the second biggest village in the state and is part of the contiguous built-up of the Kohima metropolitan area that extends into the neighboring areas of Jakhama, Kigwema and Khuzama in the Southern Angami region, forming the second largest urban agglomerations in Nagaland. Its vast territory also lies across the inter-state boundary in Manipur where notable features including Mount Tempü(Iso) at 9822 feet (2994m) also the highest peak in Manipur, the thick forest of Kezol–tsa and a major portion of the Dzüko Valley is located.

Kigwema Village in North East India, India

Kigwema is a village in the southern region of Nagaland, India. It is located in Jakhama Circle, Kohima district. The village is located 15 km (9.3 mi) south of Kohima, the capital of Nagaland.

Southern Angami

Southern Angami or Japfüphiki is a geo-cultural region located in the southern part of Kohima District, Nagaland with a major portion of its territory also lying across the inter-state border in the Senapati District of Manipur.

Rev. Fr. Dr. Abraham Lotha is a Naga anthropologist and the former Principal of St. Joseph's College, Jakhama, who served from April 2011 till May 2015. He serves as the current President of the Lotha Academy. and also wrote several books on Naga anthropology.

Khuzama is a Southern Angami Naga village on the inter-state border with Manipur located 28 km south of Kohima, the capital of Nagaland.


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Kohima City Population Census 2011 - Nagaland". 2011 Census of India . 2015.
  2. Dougherty 2008, p. 159.
  3. Ritter 2017, p. 123
  4. "Britain's Greatest Battles". National Army Museum. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  5. "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Kohima, India" . Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  6. "Kohima Home NIC" . Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  7. "History". District Kohima. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  8. Bert Sim, Mosstodloch, Aberdeenshire, Scotland: Pipe Major of the Gordon Highlanders at Kohima: his home is named "Kohima." -- RJWilliams, Slingerlands, NY/USA
  9. "Epitaph". Archived from the original on 10 May 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  10. "Rememembering Kekuojalie Sachü & Vikhozo Yhoshü". Morung Express. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  11. "Kohima, India Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  12. "Station: Kohima Climatological Table 1961–1990" (PDF). Climatological Normals 1961–1990. India Meteorological Department. July 2010. pp. 447–448. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 February 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  13. "Extremes of Temperature & Rainfall for Indian Stations (Up to 2012)" (PDF). India Meteorological Department. December 2016. p. M158. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2020. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  14. "Kohima Municipal Council, Location of Kohima Municipal Council". kohimaonline.in. India Online.
  15. 1 2 3 "Administration of Kohima, Kohima District Administration". kohimaonline.in. India Online.
  16. 1 2 3 4 "Kohima CDP Revised" (PDF). Government of Nagaland. July 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  17. "Kohima Municipal Council". kmc.nagaland.gov.in. 31 March 2017.
  18. Sechü, Neidilhoutuo (26 July 2013). "Slow Train Ride to Zubza". Eastern Mirror. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  19. "The Sentinel". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2015.